American Revolution and the 19th Century Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

witchcraft scares in the Chesapeake colonies and no uprising like Bacon's Rebellion in New England. Consider the possible social, economic, and religious causes of both phenomena.

The colonies of New England were based on patriarchal religious social orders that were fundamentally misogynistic. The Protestant systems in New England fomented the fear of witchcraft, a parallel for a fear of feminist power. On the other hand, New England lacked the cash-crop ready system that had been emerging in the Chesapeake region. Bacon's rebellion was a labor issue related to economic power, whereas witch hunts were related to gender issues and social power.

What made Native American peoples vulnerable to conquest by European adventurers?

Native American peoples did not have the same disease resistances that Europeans had developed over several generations. They did not develop the types of sophisticated weapons using gunpowder that he Europeans had, and also, Native Americans were used to making agreements with people who kept their word rather than with the bigoted liars the British turned out to be.

3. What was the role of the colonies in the British mercantilist system?

The colonies fed the British mercantile system, as colonies are designed and expressly run to do. Raw materials from colonial slave labor systems, harvested cheaply and sold on the common market, enabled Britain to compete economically and succeed against Dutch, French, and other European markets in spite of their attempts to exploit colonial labor and resources as well.

4. How did the Great War for Empire change the relationship between England and its American colonies?

The Great War for Empire shifted the balance of power in Europe yet again, thereby changing the relationships between Old World powers and their colonies. England made serious gains in North America after France suffered some defeats, leading to a bloated British empire that proved ultimately unsustainable.

Group 2

1.The narrative suggests that the war for American independence was not inevitable, that the British empire could have been saved. Do you agree? At what point during the imperial crisis was peaceful compromise possible?

I do not agree that the Empire could have been saved, because the tides were turning toward democratic social revolutions and political processes that were more transparent and empowering vs. those that relied on monarchic heads of state and heavy-handed elitist political and economic power. Americans had digested decades of Enlightenment thinking to forge a new nation based on radical values that undermined everything the monarchy stood for, and there was no point during the Imperial crisis that peaceful compromise would have been possible; the monarchy had lost all credibility by this point.

2. Who was to blame for Britain's failure to win a quick victory over the American rebels: General Howe, General Burgoyne, or the ministers in London? Explain your answer.

A quick victory over the American rebels was never a realistic strategy. The rebels were far too dispersed and diverse to wage quick campaigns. The Battle of Saratoga proved that chief generals like Howe and Burgoyne underestimated the patriots and overestimated the Crown's military might, even after the hard-fought Battle of Bunker Hill. The ministers in London of course remained even more detached and out of touch with realities on the field.

3. Why did Britain switch to a Southern military strategy? Why did that strategy ultimately fail?

Although it seemed like a good idea at the time, British engagement of the Southern colonies during the Revolutionary War proved fatal to the Crown. Britain switched to this strategy because of a perception that loyalist sentiment remained strong there, but that assessment was wrong. The Southern campaign ultimately failed because of an underestimation of patriot power, forces, and fortitude.

4. Why was the Constitution a controversial document even as it was being written?

The Constitution succeeded the Articles of Confederation, which advocated for a weak centralized government and stronger state governments. These poignant political differences between federalism and anti-federalism persisted, and continue to undermine political harmony in the United States. The Constitution was also controversial, as it included several compromises to appease multiple voices, including a compromise for slavery.

Group 3

1.How did plantation crops and the slavery system change between 1800 and 1860? Why did these changes occur?

Plantation crops and the slavery system changed due to technological advancements and a burgeoning slave population. Moreover, regional specializations in crops and crop technologies enabled local economies to compete on the global market more efficiently. For example, some of the regions specialized in cotton or tobacco.

2. How did the abolitionists' proposals and methods differ from those of earlier antislavery movements? Why did those proposals and methods arouse such hostility in the South and in the North?

Abolitionism grew in strength and political fervency as the 19th century reached its midpoint. Earlier abolitionist movements failed to garner united support for several reasons, including the lack of self-awareness that arose as Europe did away with slavery and also the increasing presence of women in the polticial process throughout the free world.

3. What was the relationship between the collapse of the Second Party System of Whigs and Democrats and the Republican victory in the election of 1860?

The election of 1860 highlighted deep divisions in American political parties, particularly over the issue of slavery. By this time, the Democrats had entrenched themselves in the deep south, with a firm pro-slavery racist political agenda. The Republicans had likewise established themselves as a party more sympathetic to abolitionism, if not overtly so.

4. In 1860, the institution of slavery was firmly entrenched in the United States; by 1865, it was dead. How did this happen? How did Union policy toward slavery and enslaved people change over the course of the war? Why did it change?

By 1865, the Civil War had ended and the North's victory ensured that slavery would be abolished at the federal level. The Southern gentry and poor whites alike had been clinging…

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